I started physical therapy a few weeks ago to recover from shoulder surgery. It’s brutal. It hurts. Three times a week, I go in for 45 minute sessions that involve stretching and strengthening that shoulder. The days I don’t go in, I have stretches and exercises to do at home. I know it needs to be done but seriously…ouch.
There is one bright spot, one highlight to each therapy session…the end. At the end of each session, I get to lay on a bed with ice and the electro-stim machine going on my shoulder. There’s no TV on the ceiling. I don’t have my phone or iPod in hand. There isn’t any music playing. It’s fifteen minutes of enforced relaxation and quiet.
I used to dread those fifteen minutes. I’m definitely a Type-A person. To lay there doing absolutely nothing for fifteen minutes can seem like an immense waste of time. I should be doing *something*, right?
I’ve reached the point I actually treasure those fifteen minutes. I try very hard not to let my brain get going on all the tasks to be completed that day, or worry about things I can’t do anything about in that moment. Instead, I try to just be quiet. Sometimes I pray. Sometimes I close my eyes and just take in the sounds around me. I’ve nearly fallen asleep a few times. More than yoga class, these fifteen minutes three times a week have been calming me. I find I’m more focused, a little more peaceful, a lot less stressed.